Gulliver eighth grader knits hats for premature babies

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Eighth grade Gulliver Academy student Melanie Martucci is passionate about helping premature babies grow strong enough to leave the hospital.

For her eighth grade IB MYP Community Project, and mentored by her design teacher, Martucci hand-knit soft, hypoallergenic baby hats that are currently being used at the Baptist Hospital neonatal unit. She decided to make these hats through her own research about babies who are born prematurely, because she discovered that they lose most of their body heat through their heads, and she was compelled to do something about the situation.

Martucci was responsible of finding funds to support her initiative and was challenged by making a very small product in size, she needed to find time before and after school to be able to make the hats by herself. Most importantly, she always needed to make the hats in a sterile environment and had to create/utilize packaging that keeps her creations clean and germ-free. She never had knitting experience, so learning and perfecting the skill was very important to the success of her project.

“I plan to continue with this project through high school,” Martucci said. “It is very rewarding to know that small lives have a better chance of survival because of my handiwork.”

She currently is connecting with other hospitals in the South Florida area so she can also make donations to those entities.

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